Speaking of the possibility of restarting the Premier League in mid-June, many people expressed concern, including Bruce and Sterling. The Newcastle United coach said in an interview with the "Daily Telegraph": "We need enough time to adjust the state of the players, otherwise they will fall down like playing cards."
When connecting with the US women’s football captain Megan Rapierno on social networks, Sterling also expressed similar concerns. He said: “We need four to five weeks (for pre-season training), especially You have to face the intense and intense Premier League and you have to do your best to win every game. So you have to prepare for this and you can't rush."
The Premier League clubs have voted, and the teams can return to the training ground the next day.
The most recent Premier League match took place on March 9th. The two sides were Leicester City and Aston Villa. More than two months have passed. Since then, teams have only been able to remotely monitor the players’ training through a variety of tracking technologies.
But here comes the question-to what extent can basic training such as treadmills, training bikes, and biceps curl keep players in shape? How much effort do players and coaches need to make to meet the needs of competitive games? Once the game kicks off, how will this unprecedented long "vacation" affect the players on the field?
In order to help answer these questions, The Athletic specifically visited Professor Magny Moore and Steve Taszgian. The former worked at the University of Southern Denmark, a world-leading football research organization, and jointly published an article on new How the coronavirus pneumonia affects the scientific reports of top football leagues; the latter is the chief performance analyst of the US men’s football team and has served as the head of sports science at Everton for five years.
为了帮助回答这些问题，田径运动专门拜访了Magny Moore教授和Steve Taszgian教授。前者曾在世界领先的足球研究组织南丹麦大学工作，并共同发表了一篇关于冠状病毒性肺炎如何影响顶级足球联赛科学报告的文章。后者是美国男子足球队的首席绩效分析师，并在埃弗顿担任了五年的体育科学主管。
Moore believes that this largely depends on the training content of the players during the truce. He believes that most players will focus on endurance training. Moore said: "The players' endurance training may help them maintain the necessary physical fitness, but their physical function will still lose a considerable part, about 20%."
Tashkian believes that aside from the physical function, the players still need to work on the psychological aspect. He said that without the help of teammates and coaching staff, it is psychologically difficult for players to cope with high energy consumption output for 90 consecutive minutes. Tashkian said: "No matter what position you play, you will try to run 10 to 13 kilometers in every game, and you will try to stay focused and deal with various situations as before. They may be able to do it now, but in After leaving the field for so long, it will definitely be a little bit powerless."
The physical function required to meet the competition is not only endurance. Moore said that some players do have complete training facilities at home, but players need more training with the ball. He said: "This is the biggest problem, because when the players return to the club, some of them may get good results in physical fitness tests, but physical fitness is just one of many physical fitness. For example, emergency stop Change of direction and determination, these things cannot be obtained from the gym or training alone."
Moore also cited a specific example. He said that from the 1970s to the 1980s, pre-season training included a lot of running training, because physical training and ball training were separate. Today, at the top league level, clubs will combine high-tech elements, tactical exercises and physical training. This means that the players are not only "fit for physical fitness", but "fit for the game."
In Moore's report, football was described as "a compound sport that is a disorderly combination of endurance sports, high-intensity running, and muscle power, with varying recovery intervals." In addition to these factors, football also requires players to have a series of football-related skills and the ability to make quick decisions. Moore concluded in the report that it is very difficult for athletes who engage in complex sports like football to maintain their competitive form during the offseason.
The rate of decline of different abilities is also different. Moore explained that if a player stops training, his various parameters will gradually decline. The first to bear the brunt is explosiveness, speed, flexibility, physical fitness and other physiological indicators. "But if you don't stop training but just reduce the amount of training, you can keep these items at the original 80%-85% level." However, this is still a problem for players who rely on speed and explosive power to play. Big problem.
There is another aspect to consider, that is, how the coaching staff arranges and arranges when the players have no idea when to start. Some coaches believe that the game will restart in a few weeks, while others believe that the suspension will last for a long time. Tashkian believes that the coaches' reaction will greatly affect the players' state. Tashkian once represented the American men's football and European mainstream league teams to communicate how to prepare for the restart of training.
"Some teams have arranged high-intensity training from the beginning and tried to maintain the overall weekly training capacity, as if to say,'Prepare everything as early as possible. If the game starts in three weeks, we can also handle it.' There are also teams. I think this is a good opportunity for the players to take a break. They will give the players a period of rest and then gradually help them adjust their state."
Now coaches need to estimate the time to restart the league, and then make various plans so that the players can balance between rest and preparation. For professional coaches who used to rely on large amounts of data and information to make decisions, they now face too many unknown factors.
First of all, a new coronavirus test must be carried out. "If you want players to go all out in training, you first need to give them a sense of security," Tashkian said. "From this point of view, playing football is no different from other types of work. You want to be in a safe enough working environment. The club needs to show the players how the team will carry out sanitation work, how to carry out quarantine work, and tell the players. We can return to the training ground with peace of mind, and the team will take care of them."
The second is blood sample testing. Tashkian said this needs to be completed within 48 hours of the players returning to the training base, so that the club can grasp the player's antigen and antibody status. As we all know, high-intensity training will affect the immune system of players, so the club must understand the number of white blood cells of the players to monitor their immune system.
Tashkian also said that the club will introduce an immune protection program to protect the players' immune system, which is the same as the items that players have come into contact with before returning from the holiday. "High-intensity training can cause immune suppression, so you must introduce specific measures to protect the players' immune systems."
In the past, when the players returned from the holidays, the coaches would arrange a series of physical fitness tests for the players, and this time it is estimated that there will be no exception. This set of tests includes a turn-back run test and a 30-15 intermittent fitness test (30-15 intermittent fitness test refers to a 30-second turn-back run on a 40-meter straight track, and then a 15-second walk Recovery time, speed up by one level every 45 seconds).
But considering that there are only three weeks to prepare, Tashkian believes that some teams will simplify the testing process. The US national team usually conducts a three-week training camp in January each year. Tashkian has rich experience in this area and he believes that he can use his time more efficiently. "I often ask, ‘what will the test result tell me?’ Tell me the players are not in good physical condition? Then there is no need, because we already know it.
"If you are not particularly clear about the players' attitudes towards these tests, then I suggest you use some fatigue tests with less intensity. This fatigue test can be integrated into daily training. We have been uninterrupted throughout the season. Using it, through the fatigue test, we can get the players’ heart rate recovery speed. This way you don’t have to waste three hours to specifically test the players’ physical fitness."
Moore believes that some players can return to full blood, they can maintain the original level of 90%-95%. Tashkian agreed, because as mentioned above, the US national team often conducts a three-week training camp in January to prepare for friendly matches.
But there is a key difference between league and national team friendly matches-preparing for a friendly match and playing 9 or 10 league matches in a short time are not the same concept. Obviously the latter is more difficult, Tashkian said: "Just like you help the players save up their energy to prepare for a 90-minute match, (preparing for the league) is also a gradual process of adaptation. You need to adjust the players’ bodies. It takes three weeks to reach this point in the season."
In normal times, after a Saturday game, the club will resume work on Monday night, and then arrange high-intensity training on Tuesday morning. How to get the players to recover within 48 hours has always been the focus of the top league teams. In general, Tashkian believes that the players can already accept the full season Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday game schedule. But before that, a lot of preparatory work needs to be done.
"So, three weeks, is it enough to prepare for a high-level game? Tashkian asked. "Enough. But this is not the real problem. The real question is: Is three weeks enough to prepare for a game schedule like Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday? The answer is unlikely. "
In such a limited time, forcing the players to adapt to the intensity of the three-week match, the physical pressure on the players can be imagined, and this puts a test on their immune system.
In addition to providing advice on sleep, wearing tight training clothes and sticking to a carbohydrate-rich diet are also beneficial to athletes' physical recovery. Mohr’s research topic suggests the use of creatine kinase (creatine kinase is more abundant in skeletal muscle, myocardium, and smooth muscle. After muscle damage, the concentration of creatine kinase in the blood will rise) and prolonged muscle soreness and other indicators To track the fatigue of the players after the game.
Moore pointed out that when the players return to the training ground, the coaches will face a "Catch-22" situation. In order for the players to regain their physical fitness, they need to focus on training games. But if the players can't even handle the training game, then the problem is big. In this regard, Moore said: "I hope that the teams will treat the training game in a gradual manner. Before the official game starts, maybe three training games can be arranged, the first game is 30 minutes, the second game is 45-50 minutes, and that's it. step by step.
摩尔指出，当球员返回训练场时，教练员将面临“ Catch-22”的情况。为了让玩家恢复体能，他们需要专注于训练游戏。但是，如果玩家甚至不能处理训练游戏，那么问题就很大了。对此，摩尔说：“我希望各队能够逐步对待训练比赛。在正式比赛开始之前，也许可以安排三场训练比赛，第一场为30分钟，第二场为45- 50分钟，仅此而已。
Letting the players play for a long time may help them find the feeling of the game earlier, but the recovery period of the players after the game is very long, and too long playing time will affect their training quality in the following days. So a tricky question is: what do you want from these three weeks of preparation? Is it a better game feeling? Or more physical fitness?
This is indeed a question that has to be considered. Tashkian said: "In fact, what the high position pressure tactics require is not speed, but the ability to deal with complex situations and the ability to adjust their own rhythm according to the opponent's tactics-these abilities are what a team loses most during the offseason. To regain these abilities, it’s unrealistic to talk about soldiers outside the football field."
As for the quality of the competition, this needs to be further investigated. It's time to test the depth of the lineup, and put forward high demands on the head coach's ability to adjust the team lineup and optimize the allocation of physical strength. Moore explained that even if they have a complete preparation cycle on weekdays, there are often players who say that they are "looking for state while playing the game." Some high-profile teams often arrange commercial tours in the Americas and/or Asia in the summer, so the team’s preparation cycle will be compressed, and players often need to practice by matches until half a season before they can adjust their state to the most good.
Tashkian believes that the situation is somewhat similar to the above. The players originally needed six weeks to prepare for the game, but now they are told that the official game will start in three weeks. "If you spend six weeks preparing for the game, the cooperation between the players will be more tacit and more dynamic. There is a theory that the team's state can only get worse, because as the season progresses, they will get better and worse. I’m getting more and more tired, but I have a reservation about it. You’ll find that as the season stretches, although some players may encounter physical problems like this, their technical proficiency and sense of the ball continue to improve.
Therefore, on the one hand, a long preparation period can be very helpful in running the lineup and adjusting the personal status. On the other hand, the long preparation period is likely to affect the players' physical reserves, which is especially obvious at the end of the season—— This is a delicate balance. In this regard, Tashkian said: "Each team will make its own choices. Too short preparation time may not be a good thing, but I don't think the quality of the game will drop too significantly."
A generally accepted view is that long-term isolation training for players during the offseason will increase the risk of non-confrontational injuries after they return to the team. Moore pointed out in the study that if a player continues to train without the ball for four weeks, and the training intensity is 20%-40% of the usual, if you want to reduce the risk of injury after returning to normal training, then the intermediate adjustment time needs to be approximately Three to five weeks.
For this reason, the authors of this research report suggested that football rules should be temporarily revised in order to reduce the intensity of the game and physical energy consumption. Previously, PFA (Professional Football Players Association of England) President Gordon Taylor mentioned the modification of the duration of the game. Although these authors are not so radical, they also echo the former's proposal-they hope to increase the number of players allowed to come on the bench in each game. This proposal was approved by IFAB (International Football Association Council).
Since it comes to injuries, the biggest threat is what we said above. Players' training content during the offseason is that the capacity is limited, and the second is that there is less training with the ball, but in the official game a lot of changes and sharp turns are required. Suddenly, whether their bodies can stand it is a big question. From this perspective, the role of training is limited. Moore said: "When you train around the pile, you move to the left and front, and then change direction to the right to bypass the pile. Your nervous system is always in a more relaxed state. But in the game, the players They need to make decisions in a very short time. They need to change directions at high speeds and rely more on explosive power. Their efficiency in changing directions is not as high as in training. Training will never reach the intensity of actual combat."
Moore and Tashkian agreed that the most likely part of a player to be injured would be the groin and adductors. Tashkian said: "The key to the question is whether they have fully exercised the muscles and adductors of the pelvis during the offseason, and then whether these sensitive parts can withstand the sudden increase in pressure. In the offseason During the period, taking into account the limitations of training conditions, it is difficult to popularize the relevant knowledge of how to train the groin and adductor muscles to the players."
Tashkian believes that after a long offseason, the players returning to the training ground will feel energetic, but the hidden dangers of injury will follow. He said: "When your players feel full of energy, it's like a blank canvas spread out in front of you. Not only can you draw a beautiful picture, but you can also ruin it completely by scribbling."
Despite the long period of rest, some team coaches had to put up the main lineup from the beginning to fight continuously under the pressure of record. For these teams, Tashkian believes that the players will not seem to be affected much in the beginning, but burnout and injury risks will gradually appear after three weeks. He said: "If a head coach does not use rotation and smashes into a main lineup of 11 to 13 people, I think that by the third week, the players' ligament and tendon problems will be revealed. Things are going fast. It won’t."